After watching numerous interviews with successful people in many different industries and reading tons of books on the subject trying to understand how one can become successful, I noticed a pattern or, at least 10 similarities (or rules) that came up every time.
One might begin by questioning the definition of the word “success”. I won’t go into that simply because, at the the root of it, lies the same wanting, the same craving: to become more than what and who we are. As Kundera, one of my favorite authors would say “Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
1- You got to be in the present moment.
All of them agree that too much time and energy are wasted when worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Your power lies in the “now”.
2- Love what you do
As all say it: If you don’t love it enough, you will quit and that’s why most people do. You will be challenged, there will be problems. Your passion can help you overcome all obstacles. As Wayne Dyer would say it “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”
Know that you will fall, you will have problems, it will be tough. But as J.K. Rowlings says “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Hang in there. The hurricane shall pass. Nothing ever lasts. Stay with it, walk through the storm. Move forward everyday. No matter what, don’t quit. You cannot fail if you don’t stop. Like Winston Churchill said “If you are going through Hell, keep on going.” And also, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
And then you will say it just like Barry Manilow in his song “I made it through the rain.” Because nothing ever lasts, enjoy the success while it last and prepare for the next hurricane.
4- Don’t do it for the money
The richest people in the world never did it for the money. That’s where most people get it wrong. They get into a field for the money and quit because the love is not there. Love what you do, the money will come. As Matthew McConaughey in the movie “Gold”: “We never did it for the money, we did it for the gold.” There is a big difference.
All successful people quiet their minds, void the noise. In the silence, you will find the answers. Mostly, you will find peace. As Warren Buffet says “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”
6- Be the best
You don’t need to be perfect. As Dali would say “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” You just need to be better. The better you are, the more noticeable you will become. Work on your craft day in and day out. As Will Smith says “When others sleep, I work. When others eat, I work.” If you are the best, you will not feel the need to prove yourself. You will be honest and have integrity because you will know, you are better. And those two qualities are worth gold. As Einstein would say “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
Don’t underestimate others by creating a low quality product. You will not cheat others, you’ll end up cheating yourself.
7- Believe in yourself
No one will ever believe in you more than you. At the beginning of anything, your belief and confidence will be the only allies you will have. But the more you believe and have confidence, the more the others will listen and, eventually follow. As Marianne Williamson would say “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
8- Dream big
You are the one who can set your limits. You have the choice, the power and responsibility to be limitless. As Les Brown would say “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” or Leo Burnett “When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
If you start with low expectations, you never get big results.(That’s my quote). And then, imagine yourself there, act as if you were already there. Before you know it, you will be.
9- Surround yourself with the best
Build a great team or a mastermind group of piers. Remember that successful people talk about goals and ideas, sharing them and getting feed back on how to improve. As Jim Rohn would say “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Chose carefully. If you cannot find 5 friends that have the statues, income, relationship, you want; chose among the deceased: read books.
10- Stay hungry
Never take anything for granted. Stay open, stay curious, stay enthusiastic. Never settle for something less than what you dreamed of. As Warren Buffet “read, read, read” as he reads 5-6 hours per day. Educate yourself. As Tom Hiddleston would say “Stay hungry, stay young, stay foolish, stay curious, and above all, stay humble because just when you think you got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don’t.”
11- A last one for the road
Don’t give a damn about what others think. Most of the time, they think about what you might be thinking about them. Their opinions will vary and they won’t say most of what they really think. If you succeed, they might be jealous and pull you down to their level of comfort so that your light does not cause them to live in a shadow. You are the person you will spend the most time with, treasure that, first.
Hope this inspires and motivates. Please share with others, to spread the light.